The computer, an intelligent apparatus, can be used to achieve desired results based solely on information, or data provided. It can be utilised for collecting information from web by a cardiologist to save a life, or by a robber to make plans for robbing a bank. This is why in computer lingo it is said garbage in, garbage out.

Similarly democracy is a system, where people elect representatives to deliver good governance, working within confines of constitution, with a strong independent judiciary having powers for review filed by citizens in case of any excesses. In any system it is the character, integrity and ethics of men assigned to handle a system, which determine benefits that may accrue, or the evil objectives. Democracy can be abused if the wrong people succeed in fooling electorate and become an instrument for their agony and plundering state exchequer of funds that should have been used for their welfare. It cannot deliver without a powerful independent Election Commission and strong superior judiciary to ensure that crooks and men with questionable integrity and total commitment to the state, having no split loyalties, with all their stakes in Pakistan, are allowed to contest polls. According to Founding Fathers of USA, “The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty”. It is the divine right of people to know about character and assets of those who offer to serve them because “ despotism, or unlimited sovereignty, or absolute power, is the same in a majority of a popular assembly, an aristocratic council, an oligarchical junta, and a single emperor”.

Pakistan was not liberated from British Colonial rulers based in UK to be replaced by men who live abroad, have all their assets there, are subject to foreign influence and willing only to come to this country when in power. When rulers are captive to their greed for power, wealth or corruption, they become a cancer for both democracy and state. If only this government had contributed for betterment of masses, utilised its energies during past four years for collective welfare or nation building, the generous people of this country might have willingly forgiven them for past wrongs committed, including Swiss Bank accounts.

MALIK TARIQ ALI,

Lahore, June 27.